Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Past: Stefan Tcherepnin

"Like Rat and Bear before them their best feature is banality, their inertness, don't really do much of anything, the muppets grown and birdbrained, as boring as any of us, taking on the roles of young adults, drinking, watching TV, sinking Karaoke, acting as neanderthals, getting all the same shows as Tcherepnin."

Monday, June 28, 2021

Richard Sides at Schiefe Zähne


The inability to structure information under a rubric, to organize, like CAWD writ previous: "the new drug of conceptual art is the complete meltdown of sense."  This has been true for a while, e.g. Berger's diamond ads next to war atrocities. And Wolfson weaponized incoherence into a final boss, irony. But the version here is more kin Carissa Rodriguez, Darren Bader, Morag Keil. Maybe Keith Farquhar. It's less attack than a slow trip, an inability to find hard ground, the more one looks, the more information, the more the world liquifies, almost psychedelically incoherent, the world begins to fall apart. Psychosemiotnaut?
The fallout of [this] semiotic manicism/collapse/supernova, of the 00’s assemblage (Harrison, Genzken, Pernice et al) and the exploding of Unmonumental’s detritus, left the next generation picking cultural rubble. Artists became post-apocalyptic cargo-cult, artists, still wanting to believe, began to reassemble totems of cultural meaning. Staedelschulites rehashing a form of ready-made-marxist-surrealism, societie's tchotchkies made to “speak” the tongues of the Invisible Hand, worship of gods who must be crazy. Post-Lieske - the real rabble of Neue Alte Brucke, Pro-Choice, etc. - Ceccaldi, Yngve Holen and everyone else - rearranging/collaging/juxtaposing the signs of capital as some sort of anti-altar to them - the whole "arrangements" phenomenon, tableaus of cultural artifacts, seen again and again and again on the rugs of art fairs everywhere - finally hitting bedrock in the strip-mine of Darren Bader just arranging capital’s objects on the floor.

see too: Carissa Rodriguez at WattisRachel Harrison at Whitney MuseumMorag Keil at Real Fine Arts

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Inga Danysz at Sydney, Sydney


Been seeing a lot of slumping glass lately. I can't even think of all who, Kate Newby, Kelly Akashi, but others unremembered. Jean-Luc Moulène, etc. Is that that glasswork is a craft return, or does glass have particular attributes. Glinty. Liquid jewel? The firm/soft thing? Maybe why Torbjorn Rodland took a photo of a penis behind melt glass. To desumblimate its soft allure? A chair is a just an innuendo for a body. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Christopher Williams at Capitain Petzel


Williams once admitted in an interview to looking at Contemporary Art Daily every morning, and one wonders how he feels about it now having had the scene slip so far from his particular register of work. Does he even recognize his anomaly in the deluge of representation? Even what might be considered his progeny - say Cameron Rowland - have rid themselves of the Knightly Cold Cuts opacity, with work that clearly delineates itself. Because we don't want opacity anymore, we want clearly established intent. This probably makes Williams important to moment, a medicinal flavor. But the en abyme of institutional/self reflection requires an outside party to discern the navel's tea leaves. Otherwise it's just tying up the institution in your ornate slick personal knots to look at your button. Otherwise it's just kink. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Kye Christensen-Knowles at LOMEX


I'm reminded. Recombinative aesthetics. Like how Grimes recent aesthetic is 9th generation Akira ran though 15 years of Deviant Art, echoed so long until it becomes its own Grimes' "new." How in the storm of West's Ye arrival samples slipped though the stream of producers, missed credits and Francis apologizing afterward. Leading the label head of the stolen artist to lament that Kanye was "another case of an artist who capitalizes on culture ... and because culture trickles up, this means we are all basically working for him." This is likely what the PR refers to as its "degenerative history." Is anyone lauded for collecting Michael Whelan originals? Instead it's the katamari dredge of art that absorbs it into star. The found VHS tape of history, which feels like an artifact instead of a representation. This is a problem for all culture but it does show there's still a crowning distinction between high and low and who gets to wear it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wangechi Mutu at Gladstone Gallery, New York


Last time's nguva sculptures had at least owned the slickness of bronze. Palpable. These seem more bronze than myth.  These are monuments to, maybe rather than of. If we're having big badass sci-fi-myth sculpture.. then the sculpture part of that phrase seems the least interesting. The Alien-like pool in the other room seems to do it better. Towards a narrative art that is neither monument nor film setting.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Reina Sugihara at Lavender Opener Chair


These look old. Probably because no one paints this way anymore. (Maybe Cathy Wilkes' rare painting?) Probably because at some point it became important to not look like 2nd generation abex, because that looked dated, because looking new stood in for being new, and thus painting adopted technology like acrylics and cartoons and metal plating and whatever other process it could cling to its surface. But, with a wide enough historical lens, all painting condenses into the same gooey dumb thing. And these just stand out as strange as weird good things.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Past: Yuji Agematsu

"What is contained in a day, what does a date contain, etc. If you pressed anyone on these questions they would admit the hairiness of the situation. But that isn't how we act, when we write press releases the questions themselves are preventatives against answers. This because "raising questions" is, we are told, the power of art. Which makes actually answering its questions a loser's affair - the questions must be kept on life support; Art, for its shareholders, must be eternal. (And thus why thousands of artists continue redeploying On Kawara's essential question. It becomes a mannered tool for evoking, but not answering, a question.) This is one of the worst aberrations of art. There is no critique if that critique never cancels. "Our fingerprints are ours, but we cannot be created from them."

"Expelled from cultural bowels onto streets and corners, and hook it to the intellect, placing the ass into the head, its virtual cubes, its broadcast mechanism, its hermetic boxes, proffering it, holding it in hands up, saying look at this shit. The new ecologies of waste. In old Germania the toilets were backwards and you would poop onto a shelf so you could face your fear. Look at what you had done. The ropes of your making on stark white planes. It had some medical diagnostic purpose, to know what you had expelled, reading tea leaves in shallow pools, to determine how our cultural digestion was going."

"Our growing attraction to trash..."
"Like Tetsumi Kudo's radioactive ecology, or Thek's plexi-flesh, Agematsu's warm materials of human cast-offs reanimated... Agematsu's delicate compositions as ecosystems, precious, resituating the natural to include microplastics dissolved into heavy saturation islands in the great pacific beverage...bears witness to the beauty of Butterfly collections of petri dish human waste, packaged"

Friday, June 18, 2021

Past: Jon Pylypchuk at Petzel

 ... a more formal torture of our facial tendencies, is now a wanton mass, a poopy stuff. Pylypchuk had stretched pareidolia to absurdity; you can disfigure a face into extreme proportions and still see human. ... Proportions were used with a comic's timing. The endless use of little arms, doofy mouths, and hyperbolized eyes like a child aroused to Saturday morning TV. Affective little terrors. Infantile features triggering nurture responses in adults. ...

Full: Jon Pylypchuk at Petzel

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Past: Emanuel Rossetti at Karma International

... an entertaining moment of alterity, bizarro-real, in which in moral hopes we must realign ourselves to its products, our experience of it, recognition delayed, and the static charge of our disorientation in finding an identification to hold onto, objects which connote but don't mean...

Past: Emanuel Rossetti at Karma International

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Analia Saban at Tanya Bonakdar


Not even a metaphor, a literalization? Weaving subject matter into canvas. When de Rooij did wove value, it seemed about its dumbness, and when Arcangel printed it, it definitely was. When Baldessari accumulated his own credentials on a painting, that too seemed just incredibly dumb. Laughable. Funny. That's not to say that is what these are, or have "been done before." No the point is that these are different. These seem serious. Process-based abstraction, the fallout of conceptual art, the technology for myth, woven into object.

see too: Analia Saban at Sprüth Magers

Past: Analia Saban at Sprüth Magers

Making things look like other things with other more culturally cached things all put in the frame of the biggest cache of all, that frame, art. Ostensibly this is meaningful, reweaving signs and myths into themselves, but it feels like doing imaginary math, a premise to simply get us to argue about the answer, which makes the formula appear interesting.

Past: Analia Saban at Sprüth Magers

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Something About Us at Fons Welters, Amsterdam

A show of fragile candy, soft and hard shell, capturing its affect in an art lozenge. Swallowable. Affect has always been important to art, machismo sizing of the expressionists, the bureaucratic cool of conceptualism. Affect connoted the reverence you should have for the church objects. Which ostensibly released meaning. But now affect is itself the captured thing, the feeling, packaged. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Peter Hujar at Maureen Paley


Hujar is obviously in the majors. But the photos now enter this procession of art's holy spirit, aggrandizement of its moment, its beautification. This is how photography steals souls.  Turned into little jewels. 

See too: Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz

 Past: Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz

And art often feels like a process, technology, for imprinting nostalgia. Casting banality in bronze, silver, with a halo of rose. "Nostalgia a toxic substance used to preserve our memories in formaldehyde's rose tinted veil." Photography provides "immediate packaging: that inherently elegiac medium also promises preservation of someone's sight of you." So you get to preserve your recognition like pickled pigs and call it romantic. Nostalgia's artistry becomes its own technology. 

 Full: Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar at Galerie Buchholz

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Maior at Kunsthalle Freeport, Porto


Our best guess, that Yu Yuan is the mother/"mistress"/owner or maybe just matriarch(?) of A Maior, the Portugal based general store* with an ostensible curatorial program, (and curating the Kunsthalle Freeport, Porto.) We're probably wrong, and probably the point is a bit of confusion, which is occasionally fun. Whoever she is she seems important. The world has championed less with more. At least some of our "mistresses" deserve billboards. It's fun to burn space to our flowers.

*Open Mondays to Saturdays, from 9:30 to 19:00. Sundays and Holidays, from 10:00 to 19:00. Selling mostly everything for your home, except food.

See too: Marte Eknæs at A MAIOR

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Devin Troy Strother Smoking And Painting Broadway Gallery, New York


"My mother loves Christmas, and she collects all sorts of Christmas-themed ceramics to decorate her home. ... There were almost never any black Santas. So, my mother took matters into her own hands. She would buy up white Santas, angels, and carolers and turn them black using a jar of enamel paint. I’ve always thought about how this was my first brush with painting, and how it has had a major impact on my thinking and art practice."

This does seem like an apt metaphor/parable(?). These paintings, they've got the color of Christmas, but with the white parts painted black. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Matthew Lutz-Kinoy at Salon Berlin, Berlin


Someone once called this "bath house abstraction" - a decor for lounge couches, and Lutz-Kinoy's do often appear as the background to activities that accredit them.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Eleanor Ray Nicelle Beauchene, New York


Painting some lost air in the "middle distance" - air infected with some ghost. A Tuymans' photograph falls toward unfocus, like lenses shifted, or just before you faint. A world though some kind of frost. The old wavy glass of Morandi's subjectivity but mictrotized, etched, woozy. Afflicted with heatstroke? A heat shimmer. Even the cold landscapes have humid hot air. The edges are liquid hard, but their interior a gooey center. And melting. Corot's plein air as locked up as a Maureen Gallace summer, seen through Morandi's glass and receding.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Past; Jamian Juliano-Villani

"Like Ernst's graphic novels cut up from the cheap illustrations of culture, surrealism and pop go in hand, the abject impoverishment of images today begets a mash-culture on amphetamines, channeling, thieving, and mixing everything and more regardless of flavor. Ingredients in the style John Wesley placed into Albert Oehlen's 3D render blender on Rosenquist's chop setting all in the backyard BBQ of Hannah Hoch. The point today is to accelerate the katamari like sludge while maintaining, like Ernst, a semblance of representational order, to make the regurgitation uncanny, seem, somehow, true..."

Full: Jamian Juliano-Villani at Tanya Leighton

Isabel Nuño de Buen at Lulu


Assemblage by the sea. Crusted, coralized. Colors approaching, but never quite, seafoam. More a bleached shellfish reference. Sort kelp-y. My Octopus Teacher or Kevin Costner in Waterwold-core? This is the ambiguity in question. Or, maybe more associated with the crustables: Miho Dohi, Daniel Rios Rodriguez, Lin May Saeed. ... wait, is this Lulu-core?

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Philipp Timischl at LAYR Coburgbastei, Vienna


Blinky light art, the rearranged parts of the cultural casino, cut from and placed into its altars, deranged artifacts. The PR says as much: "ratifies a pop modernism celebrating the a priori unnatural marriage between the culture of entertainment and that, sacerdotal, of modernism. Our Clement Greenberg in TMZ sauce, restages the epic formalist quest for flatness, infused with pop calibrated for iPhones."
The culturally accredited mall.